The crochet cluster stitch is made up of a number of stitches that are placed adjacent to one another and all linked together at the top. The number of stitches varies from pattern to pattern, depending on the type of cluster that you want to make. For example, a cluster of three stitches links together three adjacent stitches while a cluster of five links together five adjacent stitches.
The height of the stitches varies from pattern to pattern as well. You can cluster together any of the basic crochet stitches, from single crochet to treble crochet and even taller crochet stitches. You can also cluster together more advanced crochet stitches but this tutorial sticks to an explanation of basic crochet stitch clusters.
The Type of Cluster
The name of the cluster depends on both the number of stitches and the height of those stitches. (Each stitch in the cluster will be the same height as the others.) So, for example, if you make a cluster of 3 double crochet stitches, you would be making three dc stitches adjacent to one another, linked together at the top, and it would be called a three dc cluster. If your pattern asks you to make a five tr crochet cluster, you would be crocheting five adjacent treble crochet stitches, linked together at the top.
In this example, we are going to make a 4 dc cluster. There will be four stitches worked adjacent to each other. All of the stitches will be double crochet stitches. They were be joined together at the top of the stitch. This is done by completing all but the final step of the first double crochet, moving on to the next stitch to make the next double crochet (completing all but the final step), moving on to the third stitch to make the third double crochet (completing all but the final step), moving on to the fourth and final stitch to make the fourth double crochet (completing all but the final step) and completing a final "yarn over and pull through all stitches" to link all of the four dc stitches together into a cluster.
Note that when you decrease in crochet, you are essentially making a cluster of two. For example, when you decrease in double crochet, you dc2tog or create a cluster of two double crochet. The same process that is used for decreasing is used to create clusters; you are just working on more crochet stitches.
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We are going to begin a basic double crochet stitch. So, yarn over.
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Insert your hook into the next stitch. This is going to be the first stitch of four adjacent double crochet stitches. In most patterns, working right-handed, you will be inserting your hook into the next available stitch to the left of where you have just worked.
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Continuing on with your normal dc stitch, pull the yarn through. There will be three loops on your crochet hook when you complete this step.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Pull through the first two loops of the three loops on the crochet hook. There will be two loops remaining on the hook at the end of this step.
Note that so far you have simply been working a traditional classic double crochet stitch. If you were finishing your double crochet stitch then at this point you would yarn over and pull through both loops on hook. However, the way that you make a crochet cluster is that you leave the last step of each stitch incomplete until the very end of the entire cluster. So, this is where you will leave this first double crochet stitch. There are two loops on the hook, and you will leave them there as you begin to make the second double crochet stitch in the adjacent stitch.
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Now you're going to repeat steps 1 to 6 for the second double crochet of the cluster of four.
So you're going to:
- Yarn over.
- Insert your hook into the next stitch.
- Yarn over.
- Pull through.
- Yarn over.
- Pull through the first two loops on the hook.
At the end of this step, you all have two adjacent (but unfinished) double crochet stitches and there will be three loops left on your hook.
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Repeat steps 1 to 6 again.
At the end of this step, you will have three adjacent (but unfinished) double crochet stitches and there will be four loops on your crochet hook.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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So, you wanted to make a crochet cluster of four double crochet stitches. You have your four unfinished double crochet stitches. The only step left to complete is to link them all together at the top of the stitch. Just like you would do with a decrease in crochet, all that you need to do is a yarn over and pull through all of the loops on your crochet hook. And that's it, the four stitches are now linked at the top into one cluster crochet stitch. You have learned how to make a four dc cluster.
And since you know how to do that, you know everything that you need to know for making other crochet clusters, from a tiny cluster of two single crochet stitches to a big cluster of eight treble crochet stitches. Simply complete the normal basic crochet stitch steps, leaving off the final step of each stitch in the cluster, then at the end just yarn over and pull through all loops left on the hook to cluster them all together.